Rites of passage…

Leap Party

Originally uploaded by lilith_kayt.

The other chap in the photo above is a very dear friend of me and the not-spouse, who is getting married next month. This weekend just gone we went to his stag do, which was amazing… and is responsible for my guest-blogging over at Brightmeadow being late… It got me thinking about rituals, and the theory (that I agree with) that they are about marking changes in someones’ life, and announcing them to the world…

In the modern west, up until recently, people were Christened (introduced to the community), Confirmed / Baptised (their transition to adulthood was recognised), Married ( the union recognised and approved by the community) and then Mourned (allowing recognitionin the community of their death and the changes this brings). In ethnographic examples, we have ceremonies to celebrate and recognise adulthood, but in the secular west these are often missing… we have no ‘rites of passage’, just this perpetual teenage hood, in which we become pseudo-adult earlier and earlier, worrying about our bodies and attractiveness… and a stretch at the other end as we struggle to get onto the property ladder. I’ve heard anecdotal tales of parents wanting to come into (and pretty much take over) the admissions interviews of their offspring for university! I can’t help but think some of ‘what is wrong with youth today’ has something to do with this…

I’m 27 this year, the same age my Mum was when she had me… she had been married for four years by then, and unlike many of my friends, I was definitley ‘planned’- her and my Dad had decided they were ready for kids, and I think they did a pretty good job in some very difficult circumstances. But I know I’m not ready to have kids. I don’t know if I ever want them. I don’t really feel like a ‘grown up’ either… This disparity in our life- timelines has got me thinking a lot. I’m nowhere near any conclusions but I’ll blog them when I have them!

I meant to write about a lot more tonight- my trip to Brighton for the stag do and the joys of meeting up with old friends, the fox I saw on my way home from swimming, the fact that I’ve already hit my first size/weight goals, 7 weeks ahead of time, plans for fieldwork, general musings on life, but I shall save that for another time- right now I’m off to bed as I’m teaching tomorrow for four hours, and even if I don’t feel grown up I do feel responsible for my lovely third year students!

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